By Anu Passary | Aug 08, 2012 08:45 AM EDT
An Apple (rumor) a day keeps iFans at bay. However, will shelling out a mean $800 from your hard earned lettuce cut ice with Apple fans? Apparently not. News that the next-gen iPhone 5 will sport a hefty $800 tag has sparked off angst among irate Apple fans.
The perennial speculations (and leaks) seem to be steamrolling their way through the calendar as the hypothesized September 12 debut draws nearer. The grapevine is abuzz again (surprise! surprise!) and rumor has it that the iPhone 5 will make consumers dig deep into their savings, setting them back by $800.
On Thursday (Aug. 2), Twitter saw two trending topics -"#800dollarsforaniPhone" and "iPhone 5 $800"- about the fabled device make it to the top 10. The non-promoted "iPhone 5 $800" topic was the second- and third-most popular trending topic worldwide and in the U.S., respectively, on Twitter. According to the social trend tracking website Topsy.com, between 3:00 a.m. and 4:00 a.m., 4007 people mentioned the phrase "iPhone 5 $800" on Twitter. Usually, Apple rumors make no impact on Twitter.
How the rumor originated remains shrouded in mystery (especially since no official announcement about the iPhone 5 or its price has been made). Moreover, no credible website has hinted at the $800 price tag.
A post on GamenGuide, mentioned that a Chinese e-commerce site, TaoBao, was taking pre-orders and is charging anything between $800 to $1,100. The post went on to aver that the listing is probably a scam and reads "the iPhone will cost a pretty penny, but pigs will fly before it costs that much". The spate of recent leaks of the purported iPhone 5 has undoubtedly played a part in fueling rumors.
Concurrently, a Reuters article mentions that the $800 figure was to do with Apple's stock prospects in the coming months, with many ratings agencies and other firms downgrading their estimations.
"J.P. Morgan Securities cut its price target on the stock to $675 from $695, Raymond James slashed it to $730 from $800, and Canaccord Genuity reduced its target slightly to $797. Goldman cut its price target to $790 from $850."
For now, humor seems to be the best medicine for incensed fans. A Twitter user posted: "iPhone 5 $800 psft It betta come with Barak Obama number in it or 1/2 Of Oprah's bank account (sic)." Another user gave vent to his chagrin and tweeted ""iPhone 5 $800 ??? Better be able to touch their face when we FaceTime."
In all the ensuing drama, we easily forget that the standalone $800 tag isn't such a big deal. Currently, Apple's retail price for an "unlocked" i.e., non-contract iPhone 4S is $649 and $849 for the 16GB and 64GB versions, respectively. By contrast a two-year contract with a wireless carrier ranges from $199 to $399.
The only reason smartphones prices seem reasonable and don't burn a hole in your wallet is courtesy the carrier subsidization, giving users an $800 phone for $200.
Irked iFans should breathe easy and stay unruffled as in all probability the iPhone 5 price rumor is just another rumor.
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